Are you planning your next trip? There are many things to see and do in Seville, so no wonder you have chosen this city as your destination. Its architecture, a mixture of Arab and Christian cultures, is the main protagonist of the city. However, there is much more to visit, such as its squares and gardens.
Before heading to the capital of Andalusia, I would like to make some travel suggestions. In four days you have more than enough time to calmly see such important places as the Cathedral, the Giralda, the Alcazar or the Cartuja, but the key is to organize your itinerary well. Let me give you some tips?
Day 1: A tour of the emblems of Seville
There is no better way to start your trip than visiting the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcazar of Seville during the first day. Three places that are symbols of the city and are undoubtedly its best letter of introduction. Shall we start?
Start the day with a visit to the Cathedral of Seville
The Cathedral of Se ville is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Did you know that? As soon as you cross through its door you will be able to check it out, since its architecture, decoration and sobriety are proof of it.
Although admiring it from the outside may seem enough, my advice is to go inside to take a tour of its chapels and see how the light passes, full of color, through its stained glass windows. The price is approximately 12€.
Some of the rooms of the Cathedral that are worth a visit are the Patio de los Naranjos, inherited from the Almohad mosque and with a lot of symbolism belonging to this culture, and the Biblioteca Colombina, which contains some documents written by Christopher Columbus.
Of course, another must-see is the Giralda, your next destination.
Climb the Giralda and contemplate Seville from above
Never has a bell tower achieved so much fame, but the Giralda is no less. With almost 100 meters high, this tower is the result of the historical multiculturalism of Seville.
The entrance fee to the Cathedral (approximately 12€) includes the climb to the Giralda, from where you will have spectacular views of the city.
For centuries , two cultures have coexisted in Seville: Muslim and Christian. The Giralda is an architectural work that reflects this fact; the lower part of the tower is of Muslim origin and corresponds to the old minaret of the Almohad mosque, while the upper part was built as a bell tower for the Christian cathedral.
Stop for lunch in the Santa Cruz neighborhood
I'm sure that after climbing the Giralda you got a little hungry, so before continuing with the day I recommend you to stop for lunch and see the Santa Cruz neighborhood of Seville.
In this area years ago the Jewish population settled. Although its narrow streets did not always enjoy much fame, today they are full of taverns and tapas bars.
The old Jewish quarter is now one of the favorite places for locals and tourists to go out to eat, especially if you want to try typical Andalusian dishes, such as montaditos (small sandwiches) or delicious calamari. They are very traditional places, where they still write down the menu (and the bill) on chalk boards. And if you don't want to miss the best tapas bars in the area, I recommend you to book a tapas tour in the Santa Cruz neighborhood.
Discover the palaces of the Alcázar of Seville
In the Real Alcázar of Se ville multiculturalism appears again; this place was originally a palace complex for the Arab caliphs, but over the centuries it was expanded.
You can access the entire complex for approximately 13€, although I recommend you book a guided tour of the Alcazar of Seville (about 35€) to see everything in more detail.
The Alcazar began to be built in the tenth century, although over the years it has been completed and more palaces have been built. To walk through each of them is to take a journey through history, from the Almoravid period to the Gothic period.
One of the most famous palaces for its ornamentation and its rooms is the Mudejar Palace, where you can visit the famous Hall of Ambassadors or the Royal Alcove.
Discover the history in the Archivo de Indias (Archive of the Indies)
As its name suggests, the Archivo de Indias contains thousands and thousands of folders and documents related to the administration of the Spanish colonies in America. It was built in 1785 for this purpose, as ordered by Charles III. The best part? Admission is free and the visit won't take you too long. Besides, it is only a 1 minute walk from the Alcázar.
Maps, pages, data... The historical value in the corridors of the Archivo de Indias is incalculable, especially if we take into account that here are the Capitulaciones de Santa Fe, the agreement signed by Christopher Columbus and the Catholic Monarchs.
Enjoy the emotion and art of a flamenco tablao
To close the first day, how about going to a flamenco show in Seville? Entering a Sevillian tablao is one of those experiences that you cannot miss; these places are part of the culture of the city, and you will attend a music and dance show that will leave you open-mouthed.
Flamenco is an art that is expressed through heel tapping, guitar playing, singing... It is difficult to explain in words, but when you sit down to watch the show, you will understand. A unique experience, in the center of Seville, for approximately 20€. There is no better way to end the day!
Day 2: A long walk to enjoy the nice weather in Seville
For your second day I propose a tour of the outdoors of Seville, a city full of patios, parks and gardens in which to enjoy the good weather that tends to be year-round, including the Palacio de San Telmo, Plaza de España, María Luisa Park, the Torre del Oro and the Guadalquivir River.
Stroll through the courtyards of the San Telmo Palace
It is currently the headquarters of the Junta de Andalucía, but originally the Palacio de San Telmo began as a school for sailors' orphans.
It is located near the Alcazar, next to the University, and was also the residence of the Dukes of Montpensier. The best known of this Palace is its facade, although if you want you can also see it inside for free until 7 pm, more or less.
The exterior of the Palace of San Telmo is impressive for its size and ornamentation. It was built in the baroque-churrigueresque style and there are twelve statues of twelve illustrious Sevillians, such as the painter Diego Velázquez. Inside, if you decide to enter, I recommend a walk through the courtyards and be impressed with the decoration of the Chapel.
Approach the Plaza de España and feel how it welcomes you
As soon as you leave the Palacio de San Telmo, a 10-minute walk will take you to the Plaza de España, your next stop. It was designed for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and has about 50,000 square meters. From one side of the square to the other runs a large bench that represents the history of the provinces of Spain, giving a symbolic embrace and a warm welcome to its visitors.
Another element that attracts attention is the canal, where boats can be rented for one or two hours for a nice ride. Without a doubt, this place looks like something out of the movies; in fact, it has been the setting for films such as Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
Have a picnic in the Maria Luisa Park
After sitting for a while on the benches in Plaza de España, it's time to leave it behind to enter María Luisa Park, Seville's green lung.
This large garden was originally part of the Palacio de San Telmo, but nowadays it is free to enter and a good place to bring some food and have a picnic.
When you finish eating, you can walk around the grounds. Be warned that it is quite large, although you can always rent some bikes or pedal cars to go faster and see more. In any case, the best of Maria Luisa Park are its ponds, full of waterfowl, and Mount Gurugú, which is artificial and has a decorative character.
Contemplate the Guadalquivir from the Torre del Oro (Golden Tower)
Why not get away from the center and go out to the banks of the Guadalquivir? Let your steps take you in particular to the Torre del Oro, where I recommend you climb to contemplate Seville from above. Perhaps one of the great symbols of the city, this tower is more than 30 meters high and owes its name to the fact that, apparently, its tiles created flashes of gold. To go up, you will have to pay the entrance fee (approximately 3 €) and climb a long flight of steps.
Like the Giralda, the Torre del Oro is also the result of different architectural styles. Its lower part is of Almohad construction, while the two upper parts are Christian, although built centuries apart.
End the day with a walk along the Guadalquivir River
By the time you leave the Torre del Oro the day will be ending, and there is no better way to watch the sun go down than by taking a walk along the lower Guadalquivir. It is a very beautiful area and, although walking is a great idea, it is even better to book a boat ride in Seville from the pier of the Torre del Oro. The itinerary is quite complete and affordable (approximately 20€) and has the commentary of a guide.
Touring Seville from the waters of the Guadalquivir is a nice souvenir to take away from your trip. In this tour you will have the opportunity to see in a different way not only the city, but also its river. You will pass under its most famous bridges (such as Triana) and contemplate historic buildings such as the Castle of San Jorge; all this while the night floods Seville.
You can also have fun paddle surfing on the river. This new type of tour is attracting more and more participants as it is a very entertaining way to navigate standing on a board on the Guadalquivir. All while enjoying unique views of the Triana Bridge and the Torre del Oro in the background.
Day 3: The best of Seville's gastronomy and tradition
Although the trip is coming to an end, there is still a lot to see, especially those places that are part of Seville's most authentic culture and tradition, such as the Maestranza or the Triana neighborhood.
Have a sweet breakfast in the Plaza del Cabildo
It may not be the largest in the city, but the Plaza del Cabildo, located in the center, right in front of the Cathedral, leaves no one indifferent, so there is no better place to start your third day in Seville. What stands out most is the arcade of what was the main facade of the Colegio de San Miguel, which was demolished in the twentieth century.
If you haven't had breakfast yet, I recommend you buy some sweets in one of the stores in the square, where they sell products made in the Sevillian convents.
In addition to pastries, in the stores between the marble columns of the Plaza del Cabildo you can find antiques, especially in its Sunday market of stamps and coins. In any case, I recommend you take a walk to contemplate the frescoes that decorate each arch of the square.
Visit the Church of the Hospital de la Caridad
Just a few minutes from the Plaza del Cabildo is the Church of the Hospital de la Caridad. If you have ever been interested in the Golden Age, you have to enter (the price is about 10 €) and, if not, also, because there is one of the most beautiful and best preserved altarpieces in the city.
Both in the altarpiece and in the rest of the church a thorough work of symbology and iconography was done, so be prepared to discover stories and biblical allusions in every corner, some of them made by painters such as Zurbarán or Murillo.
Get to know the neighborhood of El Arenal
Since you are in the Hospital de la Caridad, I encourage you to take a walk through the neighborhood where it is located: El Arenal. It is one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Seville, but it also has an important past: it was the point where the ships arrived and then headed to the Indies. When you walk through its streets, let yourself be infected by the energy of its people.
It could be said that the neighborhood of El Arenal in Seville is famous for its bullfighting tradition, partly because here is the bullring of La Maestranza, which I recommend you visit in the afternoon. It also has a strong religious devotion and in its streets there are many brotherhoods and fraternities.
Take a tapas tour through the center of Seville
Taking advantage of the fact that you are in the center, why not take a tapas tour of Seville? Sometimes finding the best places, fleeing from the most touristy and expensive, can be difficult, so it is a very good idea to book a gastronomic tour. They cost about 80€ and include good food and wine.
The best thing about these tours is that they take you to the most authentic restaurants and taverns, the ones that prepare real typical food. As you savor each tapa, a guide will explain the traditions of Seville and the gastronomic culture of the city.
Discover the oldest bullring in Seville: the Maestranza
Even if you don't like or are not in favor of bullfighting, the Plaza de la Maestranza is an emblematic place in Seville, so I suggest you visit it at least from the outside. Its fame is due not only to the bullfighters who have stepped on its sand, but also to the fact that it is one of the oldest bullrings in Spain.
To get there, you will only have to walk from the center towards the Guadalquivir, as the entrance is on the Paseo de Cristóbal Colón.
It took more than 100 years to finish building it. Its façade was designed in a late Baroque style, so there are classicist elements, and it stands out for the two towers at the entrance, which are topped with curved and very ornate shapes.
Cross the Isabel II Bridge to go to the Triana neighborhood
Leaving the Maestranza head towards the Guadalquivir to cross the Isabel II Bridge to the Triana neighborhood, the place where you will end the day. There is much to see and do in Triana, as it is one of the most special areas of Seville due to its cultural value, for having been the birthplace of singers and dancers and for its long history.
At first it was the Roman troops who settled in what is now known as the neighborhood of Triana. In any case, its inhabitants have always been linked to the seafaring tradition because of its proximity to the river, which is also a danger due to the flooding of the Guadalquivir.
My advice is to take a long walk through its streets and, when hunger strikes, sit on a terrace for dinner or, better yet, go to the best places in the area with a professional guide to taste the most typical tapas and drinks of the Triana neighborhood.
Day 4: Say goodbye to Seville with a tour of the Cartuja and the city center
The trip comes to an end, but before leaving I recommend you to visit some of the more modern, but not less important or historical places. La Cartuja is one of them, although you will also have the opportunity to say goodbye to Seville from the top.
Cross to the Cartuja Island
It is clearly not the oldest neighborhood in Seville (it was built in preparation for the Expo of 1992), but the Isla de la Cartuja is a must-see. Having a modern feel, it is a cultural and leisure center where there is always something to do.
To get there you will have to walk a bit (it is about half an hour from the center) or go by bus (lines C1 and C2 connect the center with the Cartuja). Once there, you can move freely between the different buildings of this large park.
It could be considered that the main building is the Cartuja Monastery (today Andalusian Center of Contemporary Art), although there are other places you can also visit, such as the Caixaforum (whose exhibitions and activities are perfect if you travel to Seville with children) or the Alamillo Park (the largest in the city).
Enter the Palacio de Las Dueñas and discover its artistic value
To return to the center, cross the Pasarela de la Cartuja and enjoy a stroll through the streets of Seville until you reach the Palacio de Las Dueñas, your next destination.
This Gothic, Mudejar and Renaissance building belongs to the House of Alba, one of Seville's historic noble families. Although its exterior may already be striking, the great treasure is inside, both for its gardens and for the artistic collections it houses. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1931 and renovated several times since its construction in the fifteenth century, it was the habitual residence of the Alba family.
The entrance fee is approximately 12€ and it is worth it to see the Mudejar arches of the courtyards and the tile-filled plinths. Of course, you will also be able to contemplate the artistic works preserved inside.
Stop for a bite to eat at the Mercado de la Encarnación
Starting to get hungry? You're in luck because just a few meters away (just 5 minutes walk from the Palacio de Las Dueñas), is the Mercado de la Encarnación, the oldest market in Seville and where you can buy fresh produce and typical dishes already cooked. The years may have passed, but the spirit of this place has not changed: friendly service and the best Sevillian cuisine.
You may be surprised to know that, despite being the oldest in Seville, the Mercado de la Encarnación where you are going to be is from the early twenty-first century. Why? Because the original one had to be pulled down due to its poor structure in 1937, and it took a few years to inaugurate the current one.
When you finish eating, take the opportunity to go up to the Setas de Sevilla, a viewpoint from which to observe the city.
Continue your tour of Seville visiting the Plaza Nueva.
After lunch, take a walk of about 15 minutes to the Plaza Nueva, taking the opportunity to pass in front of the Collegiate Church of the Divine Savior. The great attraction of the Plaza Nueva, besides being the center of the city, is that there is the Town Hall of Seville. This area has been renovated (and renamed) on several occasions, although it has always maintained its atmosphere.
Being the main square of Seville, many events are held here throughout the year, from Easter processions to demonstrations. In general, it is a place where there are always children playing and, when the day is over, it enjoys a lot of nightlife.
End the day at the Royal Parish of Santa María Magdalena
To end your day and your trip, why not pay a visit to the Real Parroquia de Santa María Magdalena? It may not be one of the places that usually appear in the guidebooks, but I recommend you to enter ( access is free within the established schedule) to appreciate its neat decoration full of plasterwork, bricks and tiles.
The current parish was built on the remains of a mosque and was demolished on a couple of occasions to open up the square. It is known not only for its architecture and baroque interior, but also for having been the first seat of the Inquisition.
The tourist bus: a good way to get around Seville
Although you can usually walk from one place to another, it is possible that the high temperatures in Seville usually complicate the displacements, especially in the middle of the day.
One option to get around the city during peak heat is to take a tourist bus through Seville, which has stops at the most important places, has air conditioning and is not as crowded as the metro or public bus.
In addition to the convenience of having an air-conditioned means of transport to go from one place to another without getting hot or wasting time between intermediate stops that do not interest you, the best thing about these tourist buses is that they have a guide so that, before arriving, you know what is most important in each place.
A summary of your 4-day tour of Seville
- Day 1
- Visit the Cathedral of Seville
- Climb to the top of the Giralda
- Have a bite to eat in the Santa Cruz neighborhood
- Discover the Alcazar
- Discover the Archivo de Indias
- Attend a flamenco show
- Day 2
- Visit the San Telmo Palace
- Visit the Plaza de España
- Have a picnic in Maria Luisa Park
- Contemplate Seville from the Torre del Oro
- Take a stroll along the banks of the Guadalquivir River
- Day 3
- Have a sweet breakfast in the Plaza del Cabildo
- Visit the Church of the Hospital de la Caridad
- Visit the neighborhood of El Arenal
- Take a tapas tour through the center of Seville
- Go to the Maestranza bullring
- Stroll through the Triana neighborhood
- Day 4
- Visit the Isla de la Cartuja
- Visit the Palacio de Las Dueñas
- Have lunch at the Encarnación Market
- Visit the Plaza Nueva of Seville
- Visit the Royal Parish of Santa María Magdalena
Are you missing something to organize? I hope my tips and suggestions will help you enjoy Seville and you will let me know when you return!